Universal Geneve and Valjoux Calibers in the 1960/1970s- Info anybody?

Thread: Universal Geneve and Valjoux Calibers in the 1960/1970s- Info anybody?

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  1. #1
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    Universal Geneve and Valjoux Calibers in the 1960/1970s- Info anybody?

    I have an old Universal Geneve Aero-Compax (link to pic on another thread below) that has a cal. 130 inside. The movement is actually based on a Valjoux 72.6 manual wind. After reading the Zenith thread about Zenith, Universal, and Martel watch companies I'm curious what was going on when Universal Geneve switched to Valjoux movements. Specifically:

    - When did they move to Valjoux movements
    - When they re-named the movements with Universal cal. #'s what (if anything) did they change?

    Thanks, Milt.

    Zenith, Universal, and Martel thread:

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f27/sho...hs-660565.html

    Universal Aero Compax thread:

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/uni...ax-240044.html

  2. #2
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    Re: Universal Geneve and Valjoux Calibers in the 1960/1970s- Info anybody?

    Milt,

    They switched in 1960 or perhaps slightly earlier, after Zenith bought their chronograph movement supplier, Martel. That lost UG its base chronograph ebauches. At the time, UG was making a very heavy bet on its new micro-rotor calibers and manufacturing plant, and the chronographs probably represented only a small portion of its sales, so UG did not struggle to hold on to Martel. In fact, Martel had started to market watches under its own name a few years before the Zenith purchase. UG continued to make its flagship TriCompax with its own (or more properly, Martel's) movement for about a decade afterwards, probably from stockpiled movements, but all of the other chronographs were Valjoux powered, with internal codes, so that the Valjoux 72 was the UG 85, your 72.6 was the 130 and so forth.

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    Re: Universal Geneve and Valjoux Calibers in the 1960/1970s- Info anybody?

    Quote Originally Posted by LouS View Post
    Milt,

    They switched in 1960 or perhaps slightly earlier, after Zenith bought their chronograph movement supplier, Martel. That lost UG its base chronograph ebauches. At the time, UG was making a very heavy bet on its new micro-rotor calibers and manufacturing plant, and the chronographs probably represented only a small portion of its sales, so UG did not struggle to hold on to Martel. In fact, Martel had started to market watches under its own name a few years before the Zenith purchase. UG continued to make its flagship TriCompax with its own (or more properly, Martel's) movement for about a decade afterwards, probably from stockpiled movements, but all of the other chronographs were Valjoux powered, with internal codes, so that the Valjoux 72 was the UG 85, your 72.6 was the 130 and so forth.
    Thanks Lou! One other question, did Universal make any enhancements/changes to the Valjoux movements, or did they just drop them in and let them run? Just curious. Milt

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    Re: Universal Geneve and Valjoux Calibers in the 1960/1970s- Info anybody?

    Quote Originally Posted by mdatta View Post
    Thanks Lou! One other question, did Universal make any enhancements/changes to the Valjoux movements, or did they just drop them in and let them run? Just curious. Milt
    This I do not know. Perhaps one of the real UG experts will answer.

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